Defining Leadership Moments (SC)

Section 1ZO, Fall 20

Schedule Information

Enrollment: 12/16
Credits: 1

Course Description

Leaders make thousands of decisions and take many actions over the course of their careers. Not all moments, though, are equally important. As seasoned leaders will tell you, there are “defining moments” – those particular instances in which their values and judgment are tested in an escapable way – that play a disproportionate role in how they and others feel about their success. While we can’t predict exactly what those moments will be, or when they will occur, for each of us, we can take steps to increase the likelihood that when they do come we know how we want to act, and that we have practiced the skills that increase our chances of acting skillfully. In short, we can increase the odds of acting with “competent courage” by learning from others’ defining moments, and by cognitively and behaviorally rehearsing the skills we all need to enact our values successfully. That, in a nutshell, is the plan for Defining Leadership Moments. Through short case discussions and readings on the most recent research from organizational psychology you will learn about how other established leaders faced their defining moments, including the steps they took to enable in-the-moment action. Through several short assignments you will apply concepts from the cases and research presented in class to your own professional life. These skills aren’t just useful for those who care about creating admirable leadership legacies over the long term; they are necessary at every step of our careers.

Course Requirements

Exam Info:
Midterm Type (if any): None
Description: None

Final Type (if any): None
Description: None
Final Exam Notes:


Written Work Product
Written Work Product: Students will be required to submit short reflection pieces requiring case analysis (approximately 35% of grade), and a final individual assignment (approx. 40% of grade). The short case analyses will require students to practice persuasively defending their values-driven decisions using the tools learned in class (2-3 total of these at about 500 words each). The final individual assignment will allow students to synthesize and integrate course learning through a self-assessment wherein they analyze several personal situations and build a development plan (about 2,000-3,000 words). Students will be required to submit the reflection pieces directly to the Professor, and the final assignment will be due via EXPO (deadline to be announced).

Other Work
In-class contributions (30% of grade)

Other Course Details
Prerequisites: Because the credits in this course count toward the JD Program Professional Skills requirement, JD candidates will be given enrollment priority for this class. Concurrencies: None
Mutually Exclusive With: None
Laptops Allowed: No
First Day Attendance Required: Yes
Course Notes: This class will meet entirely online. Class will take place synchronously via Zoom. Any additional remote learning details from the instructor will be posted to the course's Canvas page at a later date.

Graduation Requirements

*Satisfies Writing Requirement: No
**Credits For Prof. Skills Requirement: Yes
Satisfies Professional Ethics: No

*Yes means professor requires everyone in the course to submit a substantial research paper (which is the requirement standard in Academic Policies), so no paperwork required to be submitted to SRO. No means student must timely submit paperwork to SRO if intending to use a paper in this course to satisfy the Writing Requirement.

**Yes indicates course credits count towards UVA Law’s Prof. Skills graduation requirement, not necessarily a skills requirements for any particular state bar.

General Information

Schedule No.
Law No.
Modified Type
Cross Listed: No
Cross-Listed Course Mnemonic:
Public Syllabus Link: None
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Evaluation Portal Via LawWeb Closes: